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Sexta-feira

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Hello! I don't have much time to write, but I thought I would share an awesome miracle we had yesterday. This week has been really tough for us. Yesterday had a very rough start to our day. We walked into our sacrament meeting and were not doing so good. As the sacrament was being passed, we noticed a man we didn't know. He was too far away for us to talk to him so we waited until the meeting was over. We went over and found out quickly he doesn't speak much German. His mother tongue is Portuguese and with the help of God we were able to communicate with him through a Spanish-Portuguese combination (That itself was a tender mercy because since being on my mission I have spoken with Italians without having a problem, but I have always struggled with Portuguese). As we spoke with him and asked him who he was, we found out he was a visitor. He told us he has been in Germany for about 2 years now and is looking for a christian church to attend with his family. He said he went …

Ananas

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Well, I completely failed last week. You'd think that after being in Germany for a year, I'd know how to spell brötchen correctly-- especially since they're my favorite haha. You live and you learn!
This past week we went to serve in our local Tafel, which is basically a fresh food and hot meal service place for people living under social services. We were put in the fresh fruit section, I was to give out pineapples. Since the Tafel hadn't received much, or at least initially they didn't, I was asked to limit distribution to families of 3 or more. There were probably 200 people that came throughout the 3 hours we were there. Within that time, not a lot of families that qualified to receive a pineapple wanted one. They wanted lemons, blueberries, raspberries, and grapes. They really wanted grapes. As they got to me, many of the people said they didn't want one. And then there were many individuals or families of 2 that really wanted a pineapple and it tore me to …

One year later

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This past week was quite a revelatory week for me.
I'm coming up on my year mark this week, and "coincidentally" enough this past week I was on exchanges with our Sister training leaders in the area that I was trained in. On Tuesday, we got on a train and headed to Hamburg for the next 24 hours. We pulled into the train station and it felt like I had never left. Things just continued to get even stranger from there! We took the U-bahn back to the apartment where I used to live. I spent the day with one of the Sisters there and we went by on a Spanish member from the congregation I served in for the time I was in Hamburg. It was amazing to be able to see her again, and within 5 minutes I found out that I'm losing my Spanish quite rapidly... yikes.
The biggest miracle that happened while I was back in Hamburg was that we came in contact with a man that was baptized in another area of Hamburg (that area now belongs to the area where the Sisters are serving). I remember m…

The sweetness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

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Well, all the Christmas stuff is coming out... And I could not be more excited. We have begun planning for our Christmas initiative and I'm looking forward to it haha. Time is flying by very quickly. I cannot fathom the idea that it's almost been a year since I left home for the sweet work of the Lord in this beautiful country and culture.
This week we had a council with other missionaries in areas around ours and I learned a lot from it. One of the Elders shared an analogy about being in the army. He said that as a solider in the army, they are asked to carry 100+ pound rucksacks on their backs. He said that the best soldiers are able to carry their rucksack and run, crawl, climb, etc. He then continued to say that regardless of how strong the soldier was, every soldier never hesitated to take off their rucksack the minute they are required not to carry it. He then told us that as soldiers in the army of God, we need to take off our rucksacks too. Christ suffered the pains of …

Flu shots & sugar

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We not only had our zone conference this past week, but we also all got flu shots! I was not excited at all, but I lived. I'm grateful our Mission President and his wife care to make sure we are all healthy for the upcoming winter!
Within my first weeks here, we felt we needed to try and go by on a member of ours. So we went and klingeled his apartment and out came Manuel (who was not our member). We had a lot of time, and we asked him if we could teach him the lesson we had planned to teach our member. He thought about it and then said to wait, so he went back inside the building and came out and said he had locked himself out on accident; therefore, he had time to meet with us. And that's the beginning with our friend!
Within the second week of coming, he came to visit our church! And the best part of it all was that the member from Ghana we were looking for that day ended up coming to church!!! And he was late, but when he came in, he sat right next to our friend. It was a be…

Der Himmel

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I didn't plan on writing today, so I'm going to do my best to type as fast as I can. I have hit major writer's block, but I don't want to continue to not write home!!
Quick update: Transfer calls came last week, and Sister Vreugdenhil and I are staying in Flensburg. It felt like April this past week. I got a splinter in my finger.
This past weekend was our fast and testimony meeting during church, this just means that we take the time to fast for 2 consecutive meals and on Sunday we all have the opportunity to share our testimony with the congregation if we want to. Elder Carl B. Pratt gave an amazing talk about the purpose of fasting and the blessings that come with it, read it here.
One of our senior members shared her testimony about God. She shared an experience she has during World War II. She told us that she was with her mother and younger brother in their garden. In the time of the war, they had very little to sustain themselves. She said that while they were in t…

I believe

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I don't think I have shared my testimony about the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and of the Book of Mormon as many times as I have within this past week! It has been quite faith building.
I had a pretty interesting experience on Saturday specifically. We got up and planned for our day, like normal. We had no appointments made out, so we planned 6 hours of talking to people on the streets (aka finding). As we continued to plan where we wanted to go finding, Sister Vreugdenhil and I instantly felt that we needed to leave Flensburg and go to a further part of our area. We looked at a map of our area (our area covers the west to the east coast of the border to Denmark and South, extending to the Schleswig area). We both felt attracted to Schleswig and Kappeln, the east. We're supposed to go Schleswig next week, so we decided to go to Kappeln. Almost immediately we felt that we needed to check the buses that would take us there. We both felt that it …

He knows me better

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This week I studied the definition of having faith in Jesus Christ. This was done in preparation for a talk I gave in church yesterday, but I know God wanted to teach me through my preparation. I think the biggest thing I've learned on my mission is that Heavenly Father knows each of his children personally. And boy have I had many moments when he's told me so through other people.
As I prepared to write my talk, it didn't take me long to realize I was guided to the topic of faith, repentance, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ because I needed to remind myself of them. Serving a mission has been one of the most humbling experiences of my life because of my constant reliance of God. As a missionary it doesn't take too long to realize that you need Him. For the success and progress of your friends, your area, your companion, your family at home, for yourself. You need him. Its as simple as that. You have no control over anything, but the most essential thing you do have c…

But are ya happy?

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The end of Monday was the best thing that could ever happen to me. We had just gotten out of a teaching appointment with one of our friends of the church, and were starving. We had enough time to go into a bakery and grab something quick to then catch our bus. We get into this bakery and right as we're about to get a piece of bread, one of the ladies there approaches us and asks us if we knew about their happy hour special. Apparently after a certain hour, you can fill a medium sized bag with whatever bread you want... for only 4€! I was so happy. In that moment I knew God really does love me.
I've encountered moments on my mission where missionary work can appear to be burden, if chosen to look at it in that way. 3-4 hours of finding every day, hearing "ich habe kein Zeit," "ich habe kein Interesse dafür," and "Nein" on a daily basis, and being rained on and cold can break motivation and purpose faster than anything I can think of. And although so…

Mountains to move

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I don't know what it was about this week, but time just hit me like a truck and ran me over. I cannot believe how fast time is going by. It feels so unreal.
This week was an awesome week. I think the highlight of my week was when we walked out the door one morning. Sister Vreugdenhil turned to me and asked me if I was bringing an umbrella with me, and I recalled seeing the sun during our morning study so I said no. Well, the joke was on us. We were 1/2 way to our bus stop when it began to rain. We continued to walk and figured it would pass, like it normally does. Well, the joke was on us... again. Upon immediately saying that, it began to pour. And pour. And pour. We ran down the hill we were on and I was just praying that we wouldn't slip or fall.
We've seen miracles happen this week. I mean they always happen, but we've recognized them more this week than the last. I'm excited to see what these next 4ish weeks have in store!
I know the reason why my eyes have been …